The Founders intentionally fragmented power, with three branches of Government presumed to be antagonistic to each other and jealous of their powers. This structure was a result of looking at the structure of the Roman Republic where there was little effective power fragmentation - the Senate granted near supreme power to the Consuls, thinking that since they granted the powers, they were in the driver's seat. So how'd that turn out for them?
Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered.- Julius Caesar, the last of the Consuls and the first of the Emperors
But by Caesar's time, the Republic was dead in all but name. It died at a particular point, when what everyone agreed were sacred Roman political lines - never to be crossed - were crossed.
The Romans called these lines Mos Maiorum, which is fiendishly hard to translate but sort of means "the way things should be done." Once those lines were crossed it was Open Field running which would only be settled by someone who knew how to score a touchdown without spiking the ball.
Julius Caesar could not not spike the ball, and so was assassinated. His nephew and heir Octavian could score - repeatedly - without feeling the need to spike the ball and so became the first Emperor. In between them, there was a lot of bloodletting in Rome. Octavian learned from all of the violence of his early days growing up in the end of the Republic; he became Caesar Augustus because he figured out how to gather power to himself while keeping the appearance of not gathering power to himself. That only worked for him because everyone was really, really tired of the violence and murder that had come before.
Marius' mortal enemy Sulla took that rule and did one better on Marius' supporters. Even Caesar himself went into hiding as a reign of terror seized the Roman elite by the throat. Fortunately for Marius he was dead, but the streets of the Eternal City ran red with blood. Sulla wrote his own ferocious epitaph: No friend has ever served me, and no enemy has ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full. Sulla was the Reckoning for Marius' supporters.
It feels like that's coming here. It no longer feels like there is a common "us" that both sides recognize. That's new in American politics. It's like a line has been crossed; the Mos Maiorum of the early days are held now in contempt. It's Winner Takes All; The Strong do what they can, the Weak do what they must. If you get lumped in with The Weak then it sucks to be you.
And so record numbers of Americans find themselves as first time gun owners this year. Millions of new gun owners - although it must be said that those are rookie numbers. They'll be higher come the election. It's a Bad Moon Rising, and no matter who wins the election that's going to accelerate.
Because Mos Maiorum is dead. The losers in 2016 refused to accept the results of the voter's choice, and that looks fair to repeat when Donald Trump wins by an even bigger margin this coming November. What is to be done, when rioting in the streets is the New Normal?
What was done in Rome? Alas, we can read about this in the writings of Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (in the Agricola):
Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium, atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.
To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire, and where they make a desert, they call it peace.
The Romans didn't screw around.
The Democrats aren't screwing around, either. If you look at Portland, or Seattle, or Baltimore, or St. Louis - all you can think of is they've made it a desert and the Media is calling it "peaceful protest". The American public looks on, and many realize this.
So where does this go, come November? Donald Trump will win without doubt; the Republicans will also retake Congress (remember, 29 Democrats in House districts won by Trump voted to impeach; we shall see how that plays out in the election).
I've written before about Game Theory, a branch of mathematics that tells us much about human behavior. In particular, Tit-For-Tat is a strategy where you play the opponent's last play against you. If they cooperate with you, you cooperate with them. If they oppose you, you oppose them. Like I said, there are Mathematical proofs that show that this leads to a stable outcome.
That's not what we have today. What we have is the Democratic Party and the professional Civil Service, and the Media and the Universities doing everything they can think of to overthrow the last election. But respecting the election results is the Mos Maiorum of the American Republic. That's gone.
And so Tit-For-Tat (and Cornelius Sulla) says there's a different way. It's the Reckoning.
This is perhaps a better sense of how half the country is looking on the riots, from the same film:
A third of the country no longer wants Mos Maiorum - the way things have been done - rather, they want The Reckoning. Another third of the country has already abandoned Mos Maiorum, grasping at any straw - including "peaceful" riots - to get rid of OrangeManBad. The other third has yet to realize that come the Proscriptions, they will have to choose a side.
If you ever wondered how the Roman Republic turned into the Roman Empire, just open the newspaper. It seems like the bloodletting has started; if so, it will not end until we have a later day Caesar Augustus who can end the bloodshed.
This Train Wreck would be known to the Founding Fathers, although they might have taken some satisfaction that they got two and a half centuries before the wreck of their plan. But Twitter has pushed everything into fast forward. The French call that depeche mode, which brings to mind the greatest cover of American Past ever recorded:
God save this Republic.